For years people have used coded messages to convey hidden meanings. They do so to garner support from others who can read those messages. It signals that we are stronger together, and that we are not alone.
I lived in South Africa during the apartheid years. Seeing many different ways in which an authoritarian was resisted opened my eyes to the importance of daily conscious energy to progressively move the margins of society in the direction needed. It’s rarely a cataclysmic shift that makes a difference. Revolutions are, by definition, out of the ordinary. To shift the zeitgeist one has to do so a fraction of an inch at a time. Everyday. Never giving up.
As distasteful as it sounds we see alliance displays very clearly when watching MAGA crowds. Yes, I know – just try to hold onto your lunch. Whether it’s the red ball cap, the simple letter ‘Q’ or a single finger raised in a one arm salute, you can witness non-verbal messaging at play. Now, I don’t counsel watching any MAGA rallies. If I want to watch a bunch of losers displaying their failed understanding of politics I need only look at some January 6th footage from the Capitol. I try to avoid doing so within half an hour of eating. But hyperbole aside, these methods of unifying support are often very effective. In the case of large crowds it’s all rather moronic, a little like believing a message gets better by shouting it louder. Natalie Wynn describes this very well in one of her videos HERE.
For a smaller group, a minority for example such as trans people, being able to identify our own supporters and allies is important. Imagine being lost in a crowd, possibly hostile, and having no idea who one’s allies are. Perhaps it’s everyone around you – or perhaps none. For this reason I am a strong proponent of carrying symbols that convey support for trans, bi and LGBTQ values. I show my colors, as it were. I also know that while not everyone will recognise my message, many people who are aligned with me will recognise the symbols and take some comfort from them.
The idea of this is not to provoke. It’s to signal to allies, ‘Yes, I am here.’ Not everyone needs to be a Valkyrie or social justice warrior. My intention is not to create a combative atmosphere – something that does nothing o appeal to the feminine side of my personality. I’d rather bring change through quietly reasoned self awareness of what is morally right. Gently assuring our sisters and friends, these are my choices and I am unashamed of them is important.
With that in mind, especially as we move toward election cycles I do suggest members actively ‘flag’ themselves. This can take the form of a simple button, a tee shirt or even the simple color choice in an outfit. It’s true that some people may see such signals and take them to be provocative, however if that’s the case you’ve just forced a bigot to reveal themselves, which is better than not knowing who the bigot in a party is.
With his in mind I’ve got a special page on my site with a few ideas for some subtle and other not so subtle trans supporting ideas. My personal favorite is a button saying ‘404 Error – Gender Not Found’.
Check it out and perhaps you can adopt one or two of the ideas.